Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, Imran Khan, who has frequently gone on outrageous rants against India in the wake of the recent National Assembly election, was on Saturday sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of the Islamic state, whose hostile forces have variously threatened to wage internecine war against India for the annexation of Kashmir.
When a man of extreme aggression and natural brashness, Imran, told a television channel in run-up to the election that "the whole Indian subcontinent is held hostage to the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan,” he sought to convey to India in plain terms that this imbroglio had persisted solely due to the belligerence of India. "The problem with India right now is the issue of Kashmir," he said, giving in the same breath "full marks to Pakistan for trying to get proper, better relations with India... But I believe, we should have peace with India as the whole subcontinent is held hostage to the Kashmir issue.” So, when the new Pakistani leader talks of "peace" in the context of "disputed Kashmir,” which for India is an "integral part for all times, never open to negotiations," is Imran really sincere and beholden to any serious peace engagement with New Delhi?
Not really, if Imran’s tirade against India and, in particular, his tongue-lashing against Prime Minister Narendra Modi before winning the rigged elections, stand in evidence of his projected obnoxious future planning, all in league with the Army and the ISI. Imran even attacked his predecessor Nawaz Sharif and called him "a stooge of India." In a veiled warning to India, he stated that things should not be “misconstrued…Nawaz was very soft towards India and that India and Modi loved Nawaz, but hated the Pakistani forces." He also stated that "India is tensed about my coming to power... It seems the stooge of Pakistani military establishment is living in a world of his own. In fact, Pakistan has always tried to bog India down by sending terrorists, but India has invariably fought back." Imran, however, conceded that "India was never tensed or terrorized by what Pakistan had done." Ostensibly, by talking of a 'weak-kneed' Nawaz Sharif policy against New Delhi, Imran is trying to pass on the message that his tough policies would bring tremendous pressure and anxiety to India.
Imran lacks maturity and needed wisdom
Is Imran, then, talking from his appalling naivety, giving a raw account of his political understanding? Though he has been in Pakistan's politics for almost 22 years, coming from his woolly, entertaining cricket world, he is still exhibiting his piteous lack of maturity, diplomacy, wisdom and judgement. Is Imran blind to the fact that Pakistan had mindlessly forced four wars on India since Independence and was terribly mauled in each of them? The worst was in 1971 which led to the dismemberment of Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh. Was Imran not around to experience the gory details of that humiliating defeat? He has publicly admitted that Pakistan's proxy war on terrorism has not troubled India enough to make it "tense and nervous". So, what is he trying to demonstrate via his irreverent, jingoistic fulminations?
Is he being senselessly pampered by the Army-ISI axis to spread deeper hatred to show that nothing has changed in Pakistan: neither the vast expanse and regime of terrorism nor the complexion of politics or even the wiles of the fighting forces of the rogue state? But, if the new PM is trying to mount a veiled threat of yet another war, citing the rogue's nuclear power, let it be clear to him that the next war, as and when it comes, will be catastrophic for Pakistan.
The new ruling Establishment in Pakistan will do well not to lose sight of history. Our illustrious late Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away last Thursday after a prolonged illness, wrote a strongly-worded letter to the then US President Bill Clinton, reflecting on the inner, indomitable spirit and strength of India. The three-time elected PM, Vajpayee was known for his grip over politics, his decisions and his generosity. He was definitely the man of peace and friendship even with the inimical countries such as Pakistan. But, during the Kargil conflict in 1999, the PM lost his cool and boldly told Clinton, "If the Pakistani infiltrators did not switch from the Indian territory, we will get them out, one way or the other.” This was when Clinton, though not openly favouring Pakistan, conveyed to Vajpayee that Islamabad could even mount a nuclear attack on India.
Vajpayee left war strategy to generals
When Pakistani soldiers had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley, Vajpayee firmly told his military Generals, “You have a free hand on the battleground of Kargil.” In its quick offensive, Operation Vijay, Indian military rushed into the Valley and successfully captured almost 70 per cent of the seized territory. When considering India’s upright stand and the US and China’s refusal to urge India to stop its military operations, Nawaz Sharif was forced to order his militants to stop the war. And, that move of Vajpayee's sharp diplomacy made him one of the strongest leaders in India. In the three-month-long Kargil conflict, 500 Indian soldiers lost their lives and Vajpayee gravely wailed over their martyrdom. As an astute and wise chief political executive, Vajpayee believed that the war strategy was better left to the Generals, unlike how Jawaharlal Nehru slighted his Generals during the China war in 1962, telling them to follow the “supreme” command from the political leadership. Nehru proved himself too naive not to understand that political command needed to be restricted only to the planning of policy framework, constructing fighting strategy was the job of Generals. It was Nehru’s narrow vision of the war with China, under which the reluctant forces were compelled to fight unprepared in inhospitable high-altitude terrains. The result was India’s humiliating defeat in a war that demoralised not only the Indian military but the entire Indian nation.
India lost China War due to Nehru's jingoism
According to a historical account of the Indo-China war, gleaned from various sources, when on September 8, the Chinese encircled the Indian Army post at Tsenjang, north of the disputed Thagla Ridge, the then Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon foolishly overruled the advice of Army Chief, General P N Thapar and ordered the unprepared Army to move forward. But envisaging the unequal bloody confrontation, the Army chose to flinch in the national interest and strike later at a more opportune moment. But by the month-end, when Nehru returned from a foreign visit, he lambasted the Generals why the government's orders had not been carried out. He even shouted at Gen Thapar, "I don't care if the Chinese came as far as Delhi, they have to be thrown out of Thagla." And on October 17, 7 Brigade reluctantly began an attack to recapture Thagla. But then, much beyond Thagla, the Chinese attacked across the Namka Chu River too. Soon, the PLA force took control of the Indian Army's 7 Brigade and imprisoned Brig John Dalvi. A few days later, the Chinese entered even Tawang unopposed. Next on the line of Chinese fire was Walong at the other end of NEFA. Both Tawang and Walong were deep inside NEFA. Even in the western sector, the PLA occupied every post they wanted to seize.
At this point, the Chinese offered a peace proposal, which Nehru rejected out of hand. He failed to peep into India's constant defeats, including at Namka Chu. Yet, in his jingoistic streak, Nehru asked the Army to beat the Chinese back at any cost, ignoring the advice of frontline commanders who were not adequately equipped to fight. What manner of humanism lived in Nehru who wanted jawans to combat at 12,000-14,000 feet heights with just cotton tunics and one blanket each? They had ancient .303 rifles with about 40 rounds each to fight off the Chinese who carried mounds of sophisticated strike guns, ammunition and more. Pitifully, Nehru did not allow the military men the option of choosing the time and place for the next battle. Even the massive airlift of western small arms brought no relief to the Indian forces. Thus, came India’s most disgraceful, embarrassing defeat under Nehru.
Why does Imran Khan see global conspiracy?
And why is Imran Khan alleging international conspiracy against Pakistan? Maybe his intense feeling of insecurity makes him see the entire international community, including India, wanting a weak government installed in Pakistan. However, the way Pakistanis have voted in the election, they want neither the armies of terror nor the military or the intelligence agency to rule the country. Voters have thrown Mumbai terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed into the dustbin, a clear signal that Pakistanis hate military dictatorship. But the big question is: Will Imran rise to the occasion and put clamps on terrorism? They now want a truly democratic government in place. But the problem again is the new PM, who has come to power with the help of the Army and the ISI. How can he provide a credible democratic set-up, given his open ‘subordination’ to the Army and the ISI? He has to play into the hands of the twin evils in every national and international discourse. Since Imran doesn’t have a majority of his own and would look to Independents for support at every point, it would be easy for the Army to manipulate his government.
Ball in Pakistan PM's court
As for India, the situation will remain the same: frequent skirmishes and casualties on the border, increased terrorist attacks, greater instigation to Kashmir separatists to mount attacks on Indian soldiers, the flow of drugs and counterfeit currency into India through “more secret channels.” A major armed conflict cannot be ruled out under Imran’s Army-managed dispensation. In all these nefarious acts, indirect Chinese aid cannot be ruled out, given that it has big stakes in Pakistan via the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and several other key projects. So, with Imran at the helm, the terrorists will rule the roost. For three days he has been in PM Office, Imran has passed no order that may control terrorism across the border and may come to India's relief. LoC violations and terrorist onslaughts are continuing as before. Therefore, it is clear that the complexion of Pakistani politics will get further shadowy and foggy. Imran lacks vision for peace and regional stability, though he wants Pakistan to take advantage of trade with India. But he must realize that good two-way, beneficial economic ties can be restored only in conditions of normalcy. Even Indo-Pak dialogue on outstanding issues is possible if Imran can manage to stop cowardly terror strikes on the Indian soil. Right now, the ball is in Pak PM's court.
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Last Updated Sep 9, 2018, 9:00 AM IST